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Federal State And Local Spending In 20th Century

Create and customize charts of government spending.


Use the controls below to CUSTOMIZE chart or CHANGE the data series

Hover mouse over dropdown controls for help. Remember, you can display a maximum of five data series at once.

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Spending Units: By default, government spending is displayed in billions of dollars. But using a dropdown control in the table heading you can select billions of 2005 dollars, percent of GDP, 2005 dollars per capita, percent of federal spending, or percent of total spending.
Chart Title: You can create a title for your chart. Use the text field to enter a title and click the button to the right of the text field.
US or State: By default, the chart shows overall United States government spending. But you can select spending for individual states by selecting the state dropdown control in the table heading.
State, Local: By default, you can chart state spending or local spending by clicking a radio button in the selection table. But you can chart state-and-local combined by selecting state n local in the state/local dropdown control in the table heading.
View: There are many ways to view the spending data. The default view is functional. There is a census view that conforms with the spending categories used by the US Census Bureau in its Statistical Abstract. There is a COFOG view that categorizes spending using the UN methodology.
Linear/Log: By default, the data series are displayed as linear charts. But you can also select a log chart. Linear charts show constant amount changes as a straight line; Log charts show constant rates of change as a straight line.
Line/Bar: By default, the data series are displayed as line charts. But you can also select a bar chart.
Data Stack: By default, the data series are “stacked” when displayed on the chart. But you can change the setting to “un stack” the data series.
Chart Size: By default, the chart is displayed at medium size. But you can use the dropdown control to change the size.
Color: By default charts are displayed with color data lines and fill. You can change this to grayscale if you want.
US Budget Year: By default, the chart displays budgeted and estimated federal spending in the current US Budget submitted to the Congress by the president. But you can look at previous budgeted numbers using this dropdown control.

Data Range

Start Year: You can select any start year you want using the dropdown control in the table heading. At the top and bottom of the dropdown only years ending in “0” are shown. Select a start year to get close, then select the start year you want.
End Year: You can select any end year you want using the dropdown control in the table heading. At the top and bottom of the dropdown only years ending in “0” are shown. Select an end year to get close, then select the end year you want.
Category (max 5)Sub-categoryFed Gov. 
State Local Total   
Data Series: Select a spending series you want to chart from a dropdown on the left. If you select on the bottom dropdown you will add a data series (up to a maximum of five). The right-hand dropdown allows you to replace a data series with a more narrowly focused series. Click the “X” link to remove a data series from the chart.
 All Categories
* If all data series set for same gov. level, this item will show as Remaining Spending.

If you’d like to create your own custom chart of spending data you should use the table above to make your selections.

  • Select the year range: Select the start year and the end year you want by selecting the years you want in the two year dropdown boxes.
  • Select spending items: Just select the spending item you want from the dropdown control. Then click a radio button to select the level of government: federal, state, or local. If you select from the < select > you will add another data series to your chart. Up to 5 data series are allowed at once. Click the “X” link to remove a data series from the chart.
  • Select units: You can select the display in billions of nominal (i.e. inflated) dollars, billions of real (i.e. year 2005) dollars, or as percent of GDP.
  • Choose chart features: You can select the size of the chart, switch from bar chart to line chart, select color or black and white, stacked or not. You can also blow up the chart to fill the screen with the “fullsize” tab control above the chart display.

Download Data

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Download Data File


Click button to download CSV file of dataset in chart.

Download Tab-delimited Data

Copy and Paste: To copy and paste data into spreadsheet for analysis, just copy the tab-delimited text in the textbox below (click cursor in text box, then press ctrl-A then press ctrl-C) and paste it into your spreadsheet.

View Data Series

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Below is a formatted version of the data displayed in the chart.

Federal State And Local Spending In 20th Century
Fiscal Years 1800 to 1900
$ billion nominal
Total Spending -state
percent GDP
Total Spending -local
percent GDP
Total Spending -fed
percent GDP
1800MW gdp5.3080.000.002.29a
1801MW gdp5.4760.000.001.88a
1802MW gdp5.6480.000.001.81a
1803MW gdp5.8260.000.001.68a
1804MW gdp6.0100.000.001.70a
1805MW gdp6.1990.000.001.94a
1806MW gdp6.3950.000.001.66a
1807MW gdp6.5960.000.001.50a
1808MW gdp6.8040.000.001.61a
1809MW gdp7.0190.000.001.57a
1810MW gdp7.2400.000.001.23a
1811MW gdp7.4500.000.001.12a
1812MW gdp7.6660.000.002.65a
1813MW gdp7.8890.000.003.33a
1814MW gdp8.1180.000.003.29a
1815MW gdp8.3540.000.003.62a
1816MW gdp8.5960.000.003.83a
1817MW gdp8.8460.000.002.96a
1818MW gdp9.1020.000.002.83a
1819MW gdp9.3670.000.003.11a
1820MW gdp9.6380.14e0.99e2.74a
1821MW gdp9.9210.14e1.09e2.31a
1822MW gdp10.2120.12e0.99e2.01a
1823MW gdp10.5110.13e1.19e2.09a
1824MW gdp10.8190.13e1.33e2.85a
1825MW gdp11.1360.24e1.22e2.08a
1826MW gdp11.4620.23e1.27e2.13a
1827MW gdp11.7980.22e1.31e1.92a
1828MW gdp12.1440.22e1.34e2.02a
1829MW gdp12.5000.22e1.40e1.83a
1830MW gdp12.8660.20e1.37e1.67a
1831MW gdp13.2350.19e1.43e1.63a
1832MW gdp13.6140.27e1.51e1.73a
1833MW gdp14.0050.26e1.55e2.24a
1834MW gdp14.4060.25e1.64e1.77a
1835MW gdp14.8190.22e1.64e1.52a
1836MW gdp15.2440.27e1.62e2.28a
1837MW gdp15.6820.26e1.67e2.67a
1838MW gdp16.1310.25e1.75e2.40a
1839MW gdp16.5940.30e1.87e1.90a
1840MW gdp17.0700.32e2.16e1.84a
1841MW gdp17.6010.30e2.06e1.88a
1842MW gdp18.1490.31e2.16e1.84a
1843MW gdp18.7140.32e2.23e1.04a
1844MW gdp19.2960.29e2.12e1.57a
1845MW gdp19.8970.27e1.94e1.47a
1846MW gdp20.5160.24e1.79e1.54a
1847MW gdp21.1540.25e1.54e2.54a
1848MW gdp21.8130.25e1.57e2.05a
1849MW gdp22.4920.25e1.57e2.05a
1850MW gdp23.1920.23e1.51e1.73a
1851MW gdp23.9090.22e1.54e1.98a
1852MW gdp24.6480.23e1.50e1.67a
1853MW gdp25.4090.21e1.48e1.70a
1854MW gdp26.1950.22e1.45e1.79a
1855MW gdp27.0040.23e1.46e1.75a
1856MW gdp27.8390.22e1.56e1.98a
1857MW gdp28.6990.24e1.63e1.90a
1858MW gdp29.5860.27e1.81e2.12a
1859MW gdp30.5010.27e1.81e1.92a
1860MW gdp31.4430.30e1.98e1.78a
1861MW gdp32.0910.30e2.09e1.73a
1862MW gdp32.7530.27e1.83e8.31a
1863MW gdp33.4280.23e1.55e9.43a
1864MW gdp34.1170.21e1.38e9.19a
1865MW gdp34.8200.22e1.47e13.14a
1866MW gdp35.5370.26e1.79e5.90a
1867MW gdp36.2700.32e2.15e4.47a
1868MW gdp37.0170.36e2.43e4.86a
1869MW gdp37.7800.42e2.80e4.38a
1870MW gdp38.5580.46e3.16e4.27a
1871MW gdp39.5880.48e3.26e4.13a
1872MW gdp40.6460.45e3.04e3.66a
1873MW gdp41.7320.43e2.90e3.61a
1874MW gdp42.8470.44e3.02e3.91a
1875MW gdp43.9910.47e3.18e3.74a
1876MW gdp45.1660.46e3.17e3.56a
1877MW gdp46.3730.46e3.13e3.19a
1878MW gdp47.6120.47e3.22e3.20a
1879MW gdp48.8830.43e2.92e3.18a
1880MW gdp50.1890.39e2.67e2.91a
1881MW gdp51.3420.37e2.51e2.56a
1882MW gdp52.5210.37e2.53e2.42a
1883MW gdp53.7260.39e2.65e2.48a
1884MW gdp54.9600.43e2.93e2.45a
1885MW gdp56.2220.46e3.15e2.65a
1886MW gdp57.5130.47e3.17e2.39a
1887MW gdp58.8330.46e3.11e2.42a
1888MW gdp60.1840.46e3.11e2.32a
1889MW gdp61.5660.49e3.30e2.59a
1890MW gdp62.9800.47a3.21a2.52a
1891MW gdp64.1920.49i3.32i2.82a
1892MW gdp65.4280.48i3.31i2.56a
1893MW gdp66.6880.54i3.71i2.99a
1894MW gdp67.9720.62i4.28i3.17a
1895MW gdp69.2810.60i4.11i2.81a
1896MW gdp70.6150.63i4.37i2.83a
1897MW gdp71.9740.64i4.44i2.82a
1898MW gdp73.3600.60i4.19i2.96a
1899MW gdp74.7730.59i4.11i3.59a
1900MW gdp76.2120.59i4.13i3.03a

a - actual reported
e - estimated by
i - interpolated between actual reported values

Data Sources for 1800:
GDP: Samuel H. Williamson, "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?" MeasuringWorth, 2015.
Federal: Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the US, Colonial Times to 1970
State and Local: not available

Data Sources for 1900:
GDP: Samuel H. Williamson, "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?" MeasuringWorth, 2015.
Federal: Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the US, Colonial Times to 1970
State and Local: Hist. Stats of US, Colonial Times to 1970 and 1789 - 1945

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Spending Data Sources

Spending data is from official government sources.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and

Detailed table of spending data sources here.

Federal spending data begins in 1792.

State and local spending data begins in 1890.

State and local spending data for individual states begins in 1957.

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Next Data Update

> State Finances FY13

> data update schedule.

US, State Population Update for 2016

On December 19, 2016 the US Census Bureau released its US national and state population estimates for July 1, 2016.  On December 26, 2016 updated its US and state population data as follows:
  • We updated 2010-2016 population data for US and states using data from US Census Bureau Population Estimates: vintage 2016 in file nst-est2016-01.xlsx.
  • We projected 2017 thru 2021 for US and the states assuming population rate change for 2015-16.
  • We updated 2017 thru 2021 for US only using data from US Census Bureau 2014 National Population Projections in file NP2014-T1.xls. uses population data in computing per capita spending and revenue data. You can see per capita spending data in a chart here, and in a table of spending here.

You can check the data update schedule here.

Spend links

us numbersus budgetcustom chartdeficit/gdpspend/gdpdebt/gdpus gdpus real gdpstate gdpbreakdownfederalstatelocal201520162017californiatexas

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